The Messiah Simeon Waited For

Day 36, Jesus as the Rock

Yesterday’s post began a few in a row about Jesus as the stone from heaven.

It’s not an image or title that we think of often, or as readily, but several Old Testament prophecies refer to the Messiah as stone or rock. Jesus even alluded to these Scriptures when he gave Simon the name Peter, meaning pebble or little stone. To use a current cliché, the apostle was a chip off the old block.

Why would the image of rock persist in the Bible?

For one, Israel is rocky and mountainous. Prophets and other writers of Scripture would see stone everywhere, every day. They used them to build with, work with, and decorate with. They walked on them, climbed them and carved them.

They even picked them up by handfuls to kill people.

But still, why would the Messiah be linked to granite, quartz, marble and the like?

In earthly terms, rock is forever. We know it isn’t really. It does erode. Mountains weather away given enough time, wind and water. But compared to the blip of human life, rock is impervious, ongoing and stable.

Years ago, Gary and I lived in the shadow of the Rotenfels—the highest sheer rock face north of the Alps. It was both imposing and comforting to drive by on my way to work. It loomed over me, massive and immovable. But it was there every day. It did not leave or go somewhere else. It changed as light hit it or rained washed it, and I could see something new. But did it really change or did I change to see it differently? It made me think of eternity. In reaction, not long before we returned to the U.S., I wrote this poem. Perhaps you, too, today can see the mighty artistry reflected in rock and thank God for his creation.


                       Alone at the Rotenfels*, 2000 B.C.

I have chiseled rock.

Drawn tooled rock against the raw stone, hour after hour,

Working for usefulness

and sometimes beauty.

I know intimately the marks my efforts leave upon a rock,

But I have never seen such an expanse!

Who urged this hill to shed its softness?

Who bared the rock to glint its rainbow facets in the summer sun?

Within the tranquil pools of the wandering Nahe

I see mighty artistry reflected

And I wonder.

I see only the work he left behind

One overwhelming clue for me to find.

For I have chiseled rock.

A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas

More Days

Introduction to The Messiah Simeon Waited For

Holding Jesus

Day 3, A Sketch of Simeon

Simeon Was a Godly Man

Day 5, Simeon's Testimony

Day 6, Prophecies for the Gentiles

Day 7, Blessing to Nations

Day 8, A Holy People

Day 9, Welcoming God's Firstborn

Day 10, The Name of Simeon

Day 11, Staying Alive

Day 12, Following the Spirit

Day 13, Taking Up Jesus

Day 14, God's Slave

Day 15, True Peace

Day 16, Seeing Reality

Day 17, The Intent of the Law

Day 18, For All Peoples

Day 19, Making Mary and Joseph Marvel

Day 20, A Blessing

Day 21, Hinting at the Rest of the Story

Day 22, Mary Will Grieve

Day 23, Making Simeon into Simeon

Day 24, Prophet to the Prophets

Day 25, A Priest Like Melchizedek

Day 26, Destined for Sacrifice

Day 27, Jesus and the Passover Lamb, part 1

Day 28, Jesus and the Passover Lamb, part 2

Day 29, Jesus and the Passover Lamb, Part 3

Day 30, Jesus as the Lamb (con.)

Day 31, Simeon as a Man of Gratitude

Day 32, Sacrificing Lambs in the Old Testament

Day 33, The Silent Lamb

Day 34, The Messiah as Light

Day 35, Jesus the Stumbling Block

Day 36, Jesus as the Rock

Day 37, The Precious Cornerstone

Day 38, The Stone in Zion

Day 39, The Cornerstone and the Gate

Day 40, The Stone of Judgment

Day 41, Into Zion First

Day 42, Restoring the Booth of David

Day 43, Forgotten Stones

Day 44, Blessed to Receive

Day 45, Crown Him with Many Crowns

Day 46, Identifying the Son of God

Day 47, The Best Storyteller Ever

Day 48, In Bethlehem, the City of David

Day 49, Born a King

Day 50, The Living Jesus

Day 51, The Mountain Tree (Part 1)

Day 52, The Mountain Tree (Part 2)

Day 53, The Root of Jesse

Day 54, David's Branch

Day 55, The Cursed Tree

Day 56, Time Fulfilled

Day 58 through 60

Day 57, Born David's King